02 Jan rainbows and unicorns and doing it
I know there are many people out there who, like me, are stuck. Blocked. Alone, listless, sitting at the breakfast table, in an otherwise empty room, thinking… “there has to be more to life than this…whatever this is…” Perhaps, as Carl Jung said, midlife is the time to let go of over-dominant ego and contemplate the deeper significance of human existence. Or, maybe 2016 just sucked, and I needed to start writing as an outlet. Either way, here I am in all my awesome glory.
There have been innumerable occasions where I have stood in the personal growth section of my favorite bookstores hoping to quell my existential angst through osmosis. I was convinced if remained still enough, over-analyzed life, and read the right books, I would find the answer to the Great Mystery and my ennui would evaporate. Because, you know, I believe in magic. And, at that joyous moment, I would be free to dance on rainbows with unicorns and stuff my face with cupcakes without gaining weight.
So, just the other day, in yet another one of my mythic quests to Barnes & Noble, I stood with blurred eyes, reflexively looking at self-help literature for just the right title, the perfect book, the one with all the answers. Almost immediately, I felt the Universe distinctly thump me on the forehead and say “Get the hell out of here…” I looked around sheepishly to make sure there was no one around standing ready to escort me out of the building, And then, in what I can only describe as a modern day miracle, I left the bookstore without buying another book I wouldn’t read.
I have always somewhat jokingly told others I was going to write a self-help book entitled “The Answer You are Looking for is not in Here.” So, If you came here looking for the answer, make a mental note to buy my book when it comes out. Until then, I wanted to share a bit of my own personal insight, which I hope you will find helpful in your own quest for whatever it is that you are seeking. And, my sincere desire, fellow seeker, is that you will share your own insight with me on your journey as well.
Before I get to my little tidbit of wisdom for the day, I wanted to share a quick little anecdote about a bad dude named Gary Gilmore. In 1976, on consecutive nights, Gilmore murdered two individuals in Utah. Gilmore was arrested and sentenced to death. At the time, Utah only had two methods of execution – hanging and a firing squad. Believing hanging was not totally infallible, Gilmore chose to die by firing squad. In the moment before his execution, when asked if he had any last words, Gilmore replied, “Let’s do it.” Gilmore’s simple refrain in the face of his impending death became the inspiration for one of the most ubiquitous and successful advertising campaigns of our time – Nike’s “Just Do It.” Cool story, bro.
I relate this little tale because I have thought a lot about those three words lately. Up to this point in my life, I have focused on the “it” part of the equation of life. I have spent an eternity trying to figure out what “it” is that I am supposed to be doing. I have analyzed “it,” over-analyzed “it,” prayed about “it,” talked about “it,” and then analyzed “it” even more. Rinse, wash, repeat. And, this folks, is why I have been stuck. My focus has been on the wrong word all these years. Instead of trying to figure “it” out, I just need to “do” it. Life, like love, is an action. Thinking about how to get unstuck does not actually get us unstuck. Instead, “it” actually keeps us stuck. “It” will come in time, but not within doing. So let’s get this party started, folks, and do it.